Jordan Spieth is leaving TPC Scottsdale feeling both disappointed and encouraged.
He’s disappointed because he made just two birdies and carded a 1-over 72 on Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to go from 54-hole co-lead to T-4, two shots back of winner Brooks Koepka. He’s encouraged because he gave himself a chance at winning for the first time on Tour since the 2017 Open Championship.
“I believe in what I'm doing,” Spieth said. “A result like this just helps confirm what I was already feeling, and that just moves the needle the right direction.”
Spieth began the final round by fanning his tee shot right into the desert and bogeying the first hole. He then three-putted the par-3 eighth to open in 2-over 37 to fall three shots off the pace.
Yet with four holes to play, Spieth still had a chance, just one shot off the lead. That’s when he yanked drives into the water at both the par-5 15th and par-4 17th holes. He parred each time, and after Koepka got to 19 under, Spieth’s closing birdie didn’t matter.
Spieth hit just five fairways on the day, but he was more upset with his putting.
“Felt like I hit good putts,” he said, “and as much as the lid was open other days, it was closed today.”
But as Spieth prepares to tee it up next week at Pebble Beach, he’s taking only positives away from Sunday’s performance.
“I was comfortable in the position I was in, and that's a very new position for me, because it's been a little while,” Spieth said. “So, I like to compare it to how I was in 2014 a number of times in the final group and just kind of the putts didn't go in on Sunday, and you got to relearn what tendencies you have and then just keep on getting there, keep on getting in position. Then they go your way sometimes.”